The Gold Town Nickelodeon is branching out.
Beginning this month, Juneau's art-house movie theater, under the new ownership of Mark Ridgway, will feature kids cinema treasures and live music. It will continue the evening showings of independent, foreign and documentary newly-released films for which it is known, offering the kids movies as 1 p.m. matinees.
"Kids and adults of all ages are invited," said Colette Costa, who is running the films.
And on Monday, Dec. 7 the Nickelodeon will present its first concert, music duo Lindy and Kris Eli Jones. The couple, who live in Haines, describe their music as acoustic Americana; their all-original music is played on guitar and stand-up bass. Both Joneses are honored to be the first live music act to grace the intimate 70-person occupancy theater.
"Mark Ridgway is really making it into a small venue and we are totally psyched to be the first group to play there," said Kris Jones in a phone interview from Haines. "We're really excited about the direction the theater is going."
Kris Jones came to Juneau about 10 years ago during Folk Festival knowing only one person: Lindy. She showed him around and they eventually started dating and are now married. They have a CD, recorded in one morning after heavy snowfall led to their house collapsing and they needed to raise money for repairs. They sold over 800 copies - and fixed their house.
The duo sing about topics like traveling and being away from loved ones; Kris Jones spent 10 seasons (May through July) as a bird field biologist after graduating from the University of Missoula. His jobs with the Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required him to go to remote places like west Montana and the deserts of west Texas and count how many different bird songs he could hear. Working in what he called "wide open spaces" gave him solitude and the chance to reflect, which ultimately led to his own song writing.
"I worked in the middle of nowhere and the solitude helped things become clear. I call it dirt-road music," said Jones.
After their concert at the Nickelodeon, the couple is heading to the hill county outside Austin, Texas. Kris Jones said he's looking forward to hanging out with and being inspired by the many songwriters who gather in Texas dance halls and honky tonks.
The Jones' concert begins at 6:30 p.m Monday and will go for about two hours. Admission is $10.
Over the weekend and throughout the month the theater will be showing kids Christmas specials for viewers of all ages. The Friday midnight movie is a double Christmas feature of "A Charlie Brown Christmas", and "Scrooged." Saturday's matinees will be a double header of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" followed by "The Muppet Christmas Carol." The following Saturday, Dec. 12, they will have a showing of "A Year Without Santa Claus" and "Rudolph."
Saturday, Dec. 19, they will run "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and "A Christmas Story." Slated for the weekend after Christmas is "Miracle on 34th Street," and "Frosty the Snowman."